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Businesses prepare to reopen as Melbourne moves out of lockdown

Melbourne is moving out of lockdown from Tuesday 11:59pm, with cafés, restaurants and pubs allowed to open, including remaining retail and beauty and personal care services.

Businesses prepare to reopen as Melbourne moves out of lockdown
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  • Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
  • October 27, 2020
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According to step three of the Victorian roadmap for reopening, hospitality businesses are set to open for predominantly outdoor seated service only, while all retail can reopen, as well as hairdressing and beauty services, provided a face mask can be worn for the duration of service. 

“These are big steps. We have all given a lot, I’m so proud and impressed and humbled by the contribution that so many Victorian families have made, so many Victorian businesses have made,” Premier Dan Andrews said on Monday.
“If this is to mean something, we have to take our COVID-19 responsibilities to stay safe, and stay open; to stay safe and stay connected, we have to take those responsibilities seriously.”
According to step three, workplaces no longer need to be on the permitted work list to open and the ability to work will change to “if you can work from home you must work from home”. This means Melbourne-based accountants are permitted to reopen.
While cafés, restaurants and pubs can also reopen, Mr Andrews explained that outdoor spaces are limited by up to 50 customers, while indoor spaces have a limit of up to 20. The one per two square metres rule also applies. 

Personal training, fitness and dance classes can also be held outdoors with up to 10 people, and the number of people at outdoor pools can increase to 50, subject to spacing restrictions.

On condition of case numbers remaining low, the 25-kilometre limit will be removed as well as the border between Melbourne and regional Victoria, on 8 November. 

The capacity of pubs and restaurants will increase up to 40 people inside and 70 outside, while gyms and indoor fitness can reopen subject to strict safety precautions.

Accommodation businesses will also reopen.

"I know personally – deeply – just how much this will mean for thousands of Victorians who haven’t been able to see loved ones for far too long.

"It will mean families are whole again. Our state is whole again," said Mr Andrews. 

Before Monday's announcement, Mr Andrews delayed reopening on Sunday due to state health authorities awaiting results from more than 1,000 tests connected to an outbreak in Melbourne’s north.

Australian Retailers Association chief executive Paul Zahra said every day counts in managing customer expectations and spreading demand and to keep struggling retailers afloat.

“The extended lockdowns are destroying thousands of retail jobs — and while retailers are doing everything they can to stay optimistic and keep their teams employed, many can’t hold on much longer. Every day of delay is costing us more jobs — most of which are held by women and young people,” he said at the time. 

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